union budget 2017, budget 2017, fm arun jaitley, pm modi, india budget, stock markets, bse sensex

Union Budget 2017: Highlights without mumbo jumbo

Union Budget Session 2017 Updates

12.52 pm IST: FM Jaitley gave a Rs 15,500 crore sops to individual tax payers. Those with annual income of more than Rs 2.5 lakh and up to Rs 5 lakh will be 5% instead of 10%. Further, the rebate under section 87A will be reduced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2,500. Those in the higher slabs of 20 percent and 30 percent also benefit proportionately.

However, those with annual income of more than Rs 50 lakh and up to Rs 1crore will attract surchage while the 15 percent surcharge on those with total income of more than Rs 1 crore has been retained.

12.40 pm IST: Reduction in LNG basic customs duty from 5 percent to 2.5 percent. No cash transaction above Rs 3 lakh will be permitted. Announces major reforms in political funding. Minimum cash donation to a political party from one source can't exceed Rs 2,000, and electoral bonds.

12.20 pm IST: Fiscal deficit target pegged at 3.20 percent for FY2018. Net borrowing for next fiscal at Rs 3.48 lakh crore. FY2019 fiscal deficit target at 3 percent.

12 noon IST: New metro rail policy to be announced. IRCTC, IRCON to be listed this year.

Union Budget 2017: FM Arun Jailtley's speech, highlights

Budget 2017 and stock markets: Live Sensex, Nifty updates

Profile of FM Arun Jaitley

11.51 am IST: Capital and developmental expenditure for FY2018 for Indian Railways increased to Rs 1,31,000 crore from Rs 1,21,000 crore in FY2017. Also, 500 stations to be made differently-abled in FY2018. No service tax on railway tickets purchased via IRCTC portal.

11.50 am IST: Smart cards for senior citizens, based on Aadhaar.

11.48 am IST: Reform of labour laws on cards to simplify rules.

11.40 am IST: Bond yields down to 6.39%

11.36 am IST: Will lift 1 crore households out of poverty by 2019; MNREGA allocation for FY2018 increased to Rs 48,000 crore from Rs 38,500 crore in current fiscal.

11.30 am IST: Contract farming to be made formal with a new law. Abandons Nehruvian concept of differentiating between plan and non-plan expenditure

11.25: Budget 2017 has 3 major reforms: advancement of presentation to enable better utilisation of funds in next fiscal, merger of railway with general is historic, the decision facilitates integration of ministries and finally, we have done away with plan and non-plan expenditure classification. Budget 2017 theme: Transform India, Energise and Clean India. 

11.20 am IST: DeMo and GST are truly transformational and pace of remonetisation will pick up fast. DeMo won't impact growth next fiscal, as acknowledged by the World Bank.

11.16 am IST: GST has many benefits, thank states and parties for enabling passage of legislation. Demonetisation was a bold measure to tackle income inequality. DeMo seeks to create a new normal, to eliminate corruption and obviously disruptive. Impact of economy is bound to be there, but it will be transient.

11.13 am IST: Uncertainty of commodity prices, such as oil; US Fed raising interest rates and countries retreating from globalisation, embracing protectionism, says Jaitley; adds IMF projects India as one of the fastest-growing economies of the world. India's is the 6th largest manufacturing country of the world.

11.09 am IST: FM Arun Jaitley starts speaking...says paradigm shift from informal economy to formal, inflation controlled, black money flows controlled.

11.07 am IST: Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan rules out postponement even as Congress leader insists on it following the death of E Ahmed.

10.26 am IST: Budget to be presented as scheduled, at 11 am, tweets Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Budget-related glossary for you:

10.10 am IST: Top Sensex gainers now are SBI, Adani Ports, Maruti Suzuki and HDFC. Maruti Suzuki January auto sales upbeat; domestic sales up 25.9 percent to 1.34 lakh cars, exports rise 44 percent, overall increase 27.1 percent at 1,44,396 cars. Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) sales grew 22 percent overall, while domestic volumes rise 21 percent to 10,336 units. Maruti Suzuki share price 1.59 percent at Rs 5,990.

9.59 am IST: Confusion after MP E Ahamed's death on Wednesday keeps all on the edge; FM Arun Jaitley has reached Parliament even as the Union Cabinet is scheduled to meet shortly. 

Interesting tweet, possibly the best till now: 

Next best tweet

Today is a great day. After three hours,India will see rise of millions of economists on twitter,facebook,roads,streets,offices.. #Budget2017

— Gaurav Chandra (@gchan03) February 1, 2017

9.06 am IST: Budget 2017 postponed by a day due to MP E Ahamed's death, says a journalist. FM Arun Jaitley has left for Rashtrapati Bhavan to meet President Pranab Mukherjee, says Doordarshan, state-run TV news channel.

Big breaking only on @IndiaToday : union budget to be postponed by a day after death of sitting MP E Ahmed

— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) February 1, 2017

The Union Budget (Budget 2017) for the financial year 2017-18 will be presented by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. We will bring you the live updates on the budget, its impact on stock markets, proposals on income tax, corporate tax, capital gains tax and views on GST, in addition to reactions by experts and analysts. This will be the fourth budget by the Modi government; will it be a populist one?

8.43 am IST: FM Arun Jaitley condoles colleague's death. "Condolences on the sad demise of Mr. E Ahamed, a veteran parliamentarian & former Union Minister. May the departed soul rest in peace," Jaitley tweeted.

7.36 am IST: FM Arun Jaitley will take questions on Twitter after presenting the Union Budget. "I shall be presenting the Union Budget for 2017-18 tomorrow. I shall be happy to respond to your questions which you can send directly to me," 64-year-old Jaitley, who is a lawyer by profession, said in a video message. The hashtag is #MyQuestionToFM.

7.05 am IST: The stage is almost set for the D-Day even as the Economic Survey 2017 tabled in Parliament on Tuesday is being interpreted as pointing towards a balanced, fiscally-responsible budget for the financial year 2017-18. "A day ahead of the union budget, the Finance Ministry's Economic Survey FY16/17 adopted a prudent tone. It also stressed that ongoing fiscal activism amongst advanced economies was not relevant for India," Radhika Rao, economist, group research at DBS Bank, said in a note on Wednesday.

Read: Economic Survey 2017 suggests India-China bhai-bhai

The budget will be presented in the backdrop of the upcoming Assembly polls to five states, including Uttar Pradesh and Punjab where the stakes are high for the BJP. Further, it will be India's first unified budget, incorporating provisions for Indian Railways, marking a break from a 92-year-old tradition. 

What to watch out for:

  • Views on demonetisation and notes returned to the banking system.
  • Hike, if any, in minimum exemption limit for individual tax payers
  • Reduction, if any, in corporate tax rates
  • Incentives for senior citizens
  • Changes in capital gains rates or lock-in period for holding assets
  • Initiatives, if any, to push digital transactions
  • Statement on allowances for Central government employees
  • Commitment to fiscal deficit targets
  • Tax collection, both direct and indirect
  • Disinvestment target for FY2018
  • Listing of public sector undertakings

This will be the penultimate full-fledged budget to be presented by the Modi government, as the one in 2019 will be vote-on-account before going for Lok Sabha polls (general elections). 

With the Opposition perceiving the BJP as going defensive over demonetisation in the recent past even though the BJP may not acknowledge it, reactions of the Congress and the AAP to the budget will be interesting.

While the Congress is the BJP-SAD combine's main challenger in Punjab, the going for the BJP is likely to get tougher in the context of the ruling SP and the Congress forming alliance, posing a formidable challenge to the BJP. The AAP is fancying itself as seizing power in Goa and Punjab.

In the context of the recent model code of conduct kicking in, it would be interesting to see whether the Modi government manages to push sops to woo voters without incurring the wrath of the Election Commission of India.

The stock markets are also certain to react to budget proposals and it would be interesting to see how indices swing.